Skip to main content
3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the attorney for bradley manning-- accused of the biggest leak of classified information in u.s. history-- said the soldier is a whistleblower, not a traitor. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, both the prosecution and the defense have made closing arguments. now the soldier's fate is in the hands of a judge. we get an update. >> woodruff: then, houston-based halliburton admitted to destroying evidence after the 2010 gulf oil spill. hari sreenivasan looks at the implications for the energy services company and oil giant b.p. >> brown: protesters took to the streets in two north african countries today. margaret warner fills us in on the latest in egypt, with conspiracy charges against the former president and in tunisia,
3:01 pm
after another political assassination. >> woodruff: the fukushima nuclear plant-- crippled by an earthquake and tsunami two years ago-- is leaking contaminated water into the sea. we get a rare glimpse inside the still radioactive area. >> the regalia in which i'm now standing including this, a dose meter, which will give my accumulated radiation dose across the time were inside the exclusion zone. >> brown: plus, mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at
3:02 pm
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the defense got its final say today, for the soldier who made a massive disclosure of secret documents. now, the so-called "wikileaks case" goes to a military judge. as army private first class bradley manning arrived at fort meade, maryland, this morning a handful of supporters stood by, some wearing t-shirts that said "truth". inside, his attorney argued manning wanted the world to know the truth of u.s. actions in iraq and afghanistan.
3:03 pm
the 25-year-old intelligence analyst stands accused of the biggest leak of classified information in u.s. history, releasing more than 700,000 classified documents to the anti-secrecy website wikileaks. manning was arrested in may 2010 while serving in iraq, and charged with 21 offenses. last february, he pleaded guilty to some of the lesser charges, including misuse of classified information. the court martial on the remaining offenses began june 3. a conviction on the most serious, "aiding the enemy," could send him to prison for life. in their closing arguments yesterday, prosecutors argued manning was no naive soldier, but a traitor. the defense insisted today he should be seen as a whistleblower. charlie savage of the "new york times" was in the court room for the past two days. he joins us now.
3:04 pm
welcome back. so dueling portraits of bradley manning are being put forth. tell us about the manning you heard presented by the defense today. >> sure. well, so, as your viewers probably remember, bradley manning has already basically confessed to being wikileaks source and so most of the facts in this case are not in dispute. he is the guy who sent them all those documents about topics that vaulted them into world fame in 2010. the question is how do we understand that. was he a reckless anarchist and a trader as the prosecution said yesterday and today in its closing arguments the defense had a very different portrait to show of a young man who they said was naive, perhaps, but well intentioned, a whistle-blower, someone who was concerned about all people and wanted to select document sets that would help spread debate around the world lead to change for the better. >> brown: they also, i gather, were arguing that he was selective in what he put out.
3:05 pm
right? he could have done a lot more. >> that's right. this is another way in which the basic facts that he released these 700,000 documents is not in dispute and the question is how do we understand that? so the prosecution says this is massive. 700,000 documents. he couldn't possibly have even known what he was sending to wikileaks. today we hear from the defense but this is a guy who had access to millions, probably tens of millions of record because he had unfettered access to the secret computer system as an all-source intelligence only itself. so if he was just trying to willy-nilly release everything for the fun of spreading anarchy, as the prosecution said, he would have released far more than 700,000. he would have released millions and the fact that he didn't, the fact that he stayed away from databases like reports of confidential sources and so forth shows that he was, the defense says, in fact selective. >> brown: and the praous's versioprosecution'sversion is d. what kind of evidence were they
3:06 pm
pointing to to say yes, in fact, national security has been damaged? >> well, for example, one of the two largest document sets are the significant activity reports from the war in afghanistan and the war in iraq. these are sort of front-line incident reports. this happened, this i.e.d. blew up, this small scale thing happened and you write up a report if you're in that unit and you file that and there's hundreds of thousands of these things that present sort of a granular account of what happened in those two wars. and his release of those things brought -- shed new light on the true level of -- or at least higher levels that official estimates of civilian casualties and so forth. so he has said and his defense lawyers have said this is a very mild thing to release because these are historical documents. after a few days the incident is over, the troops have left, there's nothing in these that's going to cause harm. and the prosecution says no, these things show our tactics, our protocols, how we handle responses to roadside bombings
3:07 pm
and so forth and once the enemy can have this massive data set they can mine that data to figure out what our procedures are and use those against us. so that's another sense in which two different spins on the very same set of facts. >> brown: and what about wikileaks itself? because from the very beginning of course how one looks at wikileaks has played a big role, whether it's a news organization or what. so how much has that played into the final arguments here? >> well, it plays a lot into it, because the most controversial charge facing bradley manning is that by giving information to wikileaks for publication on the internet he indirectly aided the enemy. because when you publish information online the whole world can see it and the whole world includes enemies like al qaeda. and that has a lot of implications for investigative journalism because news organizations, traditional news organizations like mine, the "new york times," also take information and publish it on the internet. so if giving information to
3:08 pm
another entity for publication online is aiding the enemy, it's not clear what the line is between the "new york times" and wikileaks. and so the prosecution was trying to draw that line. as well, if he'd given the information to the "new york times" or the "guardian" or der spiegel, that would have a crime, but that's not this. wikileaks was in the business of this wholesale bulk posting of documents, that's not journalism. so that's something different, don't worry, judge, about the notion that this unprecedented aiding the enemy charge may somehow cripple investigative journalism going forward if this establishes a president. and the defense did not want that separation in the judge's mind at all. it emphasized greatly wikileaks is the same as the "new york times" for legal purposes in this matter. it's the same as t garden, the same as der spiegel. they were engaged in bringing information to light, publishing it for the world to see, the fact that some enemies are also in the world and have internet connection cans not be enough, the defense says, for the leaker
3:09 pm
to be guilty of aiding the enemy because if it is we're in a whole new world in terms of what investigative journalism can do with its sourcing. >> brown: briefly, charply, that aiding the enemy charge, the judge decided to keep that on the table. what happens next? has she made clear when she's going to decide this and -- in addition to that, what other charges is -- what's the most important charges? >> well, as i just mentioned, i think the aiding the enemy charge is the most important one. that could set a precedent that changes a lot of things going forward in this country. beyond that, the espionage act charge, several of those, are the most severe ones he's facing. he also has some theft charges and some other things that are at a more significant level than what he has offered or already pled guilty to unilaterally before this trial began. the judge has not said when she will rule. i imagine having observed her behavior that she's going to
3:10 pm
write a lengthy statement of facts in law and findings that she'll read aloud when she does deliver the verdict and hay that may take her some time if she hadn't already been working on it. so we'll find out. >> pelley: charlie savage of the "new york times." thanks so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": evidence destroyed after the b.p. oil spill; protests in egypt and tunisia; inside a radioactive town. plus, mark shields and david brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: the cleveland man accused of holding three women captive-- for ten years or more- - agreed to a deal today that avoids the death penalty. ariel castro pleaded guilty to more than 900 criminal counts, including kidnapping, rape, and attempted murder. castro told judge michael russo he will accept a sentence of life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years. >> finally, sir, again, do you understand, mr. castro, that upon entering this plea you will
3:11 pm
never be released from prison. >> i do understand that and i stated that to dave -- what's his last name? >> the agent. >> the agent, dave, at sex crimes that i knew i was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me. >> holman: the judge then accepted the pleas. afterward prosecutor timothy mcginty talked about the outcome. >> by the terms of this agreement, this man is going to prison for the rest of his life, is never coming out except nailed in a box or a -- an ash can. he's not stepping out. he's going down broke, he's leaving his assets behind and that's justice. >> holman: castro's three victims-- amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight have remained out of public view. they issued a statement saying they were satisfied with the plea deal. castro's formal sentencing is scheduled for august 1. the prosecution rested today in the federal racketeering trial of james whitey bulger, the
3:12 pm
reputed boston crime boss. he's charged with involvement in 19 murders, extortion, and money laundering. bulger fled boston in 1994. he was captured in california two years ago. his defense is expected to begin its case monday. the mother of trayvon martin is calling for action to repeal "stand your ground" self-defense laws. sybrina fulton told the national urban league today she blames florida's law for the acquittal of george zimmerman, the man who shot martin. in an abc interview, the only non-white juror in the trial said she initially voted to convict on second degree murder, but finally decided there wasn't enough evidence. >> i want trayvon's mom to know that i'm hurting and if she thought that nobody cared about her sonic speak for myself, i do care. i couldn't do anything about it. and i felt like i let a lot of people down. if i would have used my heart i
3:13 pm
probably would have went a hung jury. >> holman: another juror has said she believed zimmerman acted to protect himself after martin attacked him. national security agency leaker edward snowden will not face the death penalty for anything he's done if he returns to the united states. attorney general eric holder gave that assurance to the russian justice minister in a letter released today. snowden has spent the past month in the transit zone of a moscow airport. he's seeking asylum in russia. he is wanted in the u.s. for espionage. in pakistan, at least 39 people were killed today when a pair of bombs exploded in a busy market. it happened in the kurram tribal area in the north, bordering afghanistan. taliban militants and government forces have battled in the area for years. in addition to the dead, today's attack wounded at least 70 people. police in spain have arrested the man at the controls of a train that derailed this week, killing at least 78 people. they also began examining the
3:14 pm
train's black box today, to determine why it was traveling at such high speed. we have a report from john ray of "independent television news." >> reporter: face bloodied, shaken and shattered, he is helped from the wreckage of his own train. this is the driver, now accused of causing the crash that killed and injured so many of his passengers. her neck broken, natalia maiz they are clearing the line and searching for clues. investigators know it was speed that led to catastrophe. their inquiry is leading swiftly to just one man. the crash site is now a crime scene and the prime suspect is the driver. officially he has been arrested. unofficially, a very public trial is already underway. the man behind the controls, francisco jose garzon, had been driving trains for ten years. but when it came to the sharp bend near santiago de compostela, he was speeding at
3:15 pm
more than twice the 50 miles per hour limit. seconds after the impact, he radioed: "i have messed it up. i want to die. i have come off the track. what am i going to do? " suspicion has also been aroused by his facebook page. in march last year, he posted a picture of a speedometer as his train reached 200 kilometers an hour. alongside it he wrote, " what joy it would be to get level with the police and go past them making their speed guns go off." the town remains in mourning where relatives of the missing find small comforts as they wait for confirmation of the worst. more tears will be shed. at the hospital where staff stood in silence to respect the dead, there are many still dangerously ill. the driver lies in the same hospital under police guard. >> holman: the president of the railway company said the driver had an exhaustive understanding
3:16 pm
of the rail line. a u.s. major hedge fund s.a.c. capital advisors pleaded not guilty today to federal criminal charges involving insider trading. the plea came a day after the firm was indicted criminally for wire and securities fraud. it allegedly earned millions of dollars on illegal trades over a 10-year period. the head of s.a.c., billionaire steven cohen, is facing civil charges of failing to prevent insider trading. the mayor of san diego, bob filner, says he's going to start therapy, amid growing claims he sexually harassed women. filner apologized today, after several women said he kissed and groped them, and put them in headlocks. the former democratic congressman said he will attend two weeks of intensive counseling. >> i must become a better person. and my hope is that becoming a better person i put myself in a position to someday be forgiven. however before i even ask-
3:17 pm
before i even think of asking for forgiveness i need to demonstrate that my behavior has changed. >> holman: filner is less than eight months into a four-year term as mayor. he rejected calls for his resignation. the swiss bank u.b.s. will pay $885 million to settle claims that it misrepresented the safety of mortgage-backed securities during the u.s. housing bubble. when the bubble burst, the value of the securities largely evaporated. under the agreement-- announced last night-- u.b.s. will make payments to the government- sponsored mortgage giants fannie mae and freddie mac. on wall street, stocks ended the day about where they began. the dow jones industrial average gained three points to close at 15,558. the nasdaq rose nearly eight points to close at 3,613. for the week, the dow gained a 0.1%. the nasdaq rose 0.7%. the lincoln memorial in washington was temporarily closed today after being vandalized. overnight, someone splashed
3:18 pm
light green paint across parts of the statue of the nation's 16th president, plus the pedestal and the floor. crews worked throughout the day to clean off the paint. a spokeswoman for the national park service said luckily, the damage is not permanent. >> these national treasures are -- need to be protected. people come from all over the world to see them and, you know, it's just really disturbing that someone would do this. and, you know, i'm not sure what else to say except the parks services takes great pride in taking care of these national icons and anything like this is devastating to us. >> holman: park police are reviewing security camera video from the scene to try to identify the vandal. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and to the unrest in north africa, more than two years after the arab spring. today both islamist and secular forces took to the streets of tunisia and egypt. at least two egyptian protesters
3:19 pm
died in clashes outside a mosque in the coastal city of alexandria. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: music and pro- military chants filled tahrir square today, and army helicopters buzzed overhead. as tens of thousands of egyptians turned out to endorse general abdel-fattah al-sisi and the military's ouster of islamist president mohammed morsi on july 3. >> ( translated ): i have come to support the decision of general al-sisi. has done has stopped us from working. we don't have any money to spend on our families. we have no work. >> warner: al-sisi had urged a huge turnout, saying it would give him a mandate against violence and terrorism. islamists called their own mass demonstrations too. while both were generally peaceful, fighting led to deaths and injuries in several cities. there was also new tension over morsi's fate. state prosecutors announced they're investigating him on
3:20 pm
charges of murder and plotting with the palestinian militant group hamas. in his escape in a mass jail break in 2011 that killed 14 prison guards. the muslim brotherhood accused the state of looking for an excuse to crack down on its group. >> ( translated ): this is an invalid accusation. they want to stir discord in the society and to instigate violence amongst the demonstrators. but we insist that our million- person march, the friday of discernment, is a peaceful protest, and we will not it is the right of every egyptian to express their point of view peacefully and without violence. >> warner: the charges and counter-charges played out as an interim government works on a new constitution and plans for new elections, early next year. so far, islamists have refused to take part. for its part, the u.s. has not called what happened in egypt a coup, which would force a halt to $1.5 billion in aid to that country. >> i'm not going to give it a one word name. >> warner: today, the state department confirmed the obama
3:21 pm
administration does not plan to rule on that question. >> let me just try to make this important point. the legal decision that was made was that we have reviewed and we do not need to make a public determination on whether or not a coup happened or not. >> warner: but wednesday the administration did halt delivery of four f-16 fighters jets to the egyptian air force. meanwhile, tunisia-- birthplace of the so-called arab spring two and a half years ago-- also faced new unrest. thousands protested overnight after leftist politician mohamed brahmi was assassinated. police say he was shot 14 times with the same pistol that killed another liberal leader in february. brahmi's widow blamed the elected government. >> ( translated ): this is an episode of state violence this violence happening in tunisia is not a simple street fight between two parties. this is a premeditated violence brought about by the government.
3:22 pm
>> warner: tunisia is led by the islamist ennahda party, in coalition with other groups. its supporters marched today too, defending the government. >> woodruff: and margaret is here with me for more. so margaret, first on egypt. with the government calling and the generals, the military leadership calling on people to go out on the street, stand up to the islamists, what are they trying to accomplish? >> the government and military, judy, say essentially they're trying to say to the brotherhood, look, it's over, get with the program, join in this transition that the military's laid out. several months to a new constitution and new elections. instead what the brotherhood has been doing is having demonstrations and rallies against morsi's ouster and people have been killed in the last three weeks. i saw the egyptian ambassador who said to me we are trying to send a political message to the brotherhood that their support has shrunk and they need to come into this process.
3:23 pm
but to people in the brotherhood and people on the outside it looks like the military may be looking far mandate to crack down violently on what they call violence and terrorism. i mean, state media's been calling the brotherhood terrorists. so i think we'll know frankly in the next few days or weeks which interpretation is right. >> woodruff: brotherhood not backing down at this point. no sign of it. >> woodruff: meanwhile, military leaders are conducting a serious investigation into the former president, mr. morsi, looking at murder and conspiracy charges. what's that all about? >> judy, he's been held incommunicado for three weeks. no one's known where he was. so now they come out with these charges. the case is very complicated. there was a big jailbreak three days after the uprising started. there were actually many prison breaks and in this particular one morsi who was in as a political prisoner was freed and now what's serious about the charges is he's accused of conspiring with a foreign entity, quote/unquote, namely
3:24 pm
the radical group hamas from gaza and elsewhere to pull this off with guards killed. what it looks like to critics of the military government is this is the same old same old that you saw from the mubarak government which is if they did level charges against political opponents they were trumped up charges. so far, no evidence has been offered that mohamed morsi himself was involved in planning this raid. >> woodruff: this is supposed to be a new government but w a new approach. so tunisia, another part of north africa where there's been unrest and now there's this political assassination. what's the situation? >> well, judy, tunisia seemed much farther along in the path to building an inclusive democratic government. just like in egypt, the islamists won, this party called ennahda, won the elections but they reached out and brought in some small secular parties to their government. in fact, the head of ennahda was here a year or so ago, i went to a small lunch with him and he said "we are going to
3:25 pm
demonstrate that islamism and democracy are not incompatible." their problem has been -- or they're accused of holding on to pow too long, being in power longer than they were supposed to and coddling the more extreme krad calists, the salifies, who've been marauding through universities, attacking women for not wearing the veil. preaching imposition of their views. so this is a very -- and now, of course, accused of these assassinations, the radical islamists. sal fist. so this is a difficult point for tunisia. another big difference with egypt is that the military reportedly has absolutely no taste to intervene. so that the warring political factions do have to deal with one another. >> woodruff: and tunisia is a place we have not been paying a great deal of attention to until now. so margaret, to pull it all together, to step back, two countries that were in the lead when the arab spring began and here we are in 2013, nothing
3:26 pm
seems resolved, all this violence. i mean, what do you -- how should we see this? >> well, i think there is a connecting thread here. as you said, these were -- two of the countries, the ones with the highest hopes that they could make this transition from dictate orship to democracy, they both have a sense of nationhood, they have enough of an educated class and so on. instead, in both countries what we're seeing is they have not resolved this fundamental conflict over the role of islam in government. they have not also been able to resolve how do you bring different points of view into a government. woodruff: and why not? >> well, my near i have that when you've had people live under oppression for decade and decades where no rival political parties are -- if allowed to exist, not flourish or in the case of the brotherhood and the islamists they're in jail, hiding, or exile. and suddenly the boot is taken off their neck, they have no experience in politics. they have no experience in genevaing. and it's not in their sort of
3:27 pm
social, cultural, political d.n.a. to understand that democratic government actually involves give-and-take and trusting. that if your rival happens to be on top, he's not going to use it. he's not going to use the power to impose absolute power. because, after all, that's what they've all experienced. i talked to a former foreign minister of jordan, a big thinker about moderation in the arab world and he said "what connects these two is that the commitment to pluralistic democracy is really skin deep. neither the seculars nor the islamists really believe in inclusion." >> woodruff: margaret warner, a lot of us struggling to understand this. this helps a lot. thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: now, another corporate guilty plea in the gulf oil spill, one that may have important implications for a multi-billion dollar civil trial in louisiana. hari sreenivasan has the story.
3:28 pm
>> sreenivasan: soon after the deepwater horizon rig exploded, three companies began a blame game over whose mistakes were most responsible for the environmental disaster. that battle, which continues to play out in court, involved b.p., transocean and halliburton. b.p. leased the deepwater horizon from transocean. it also owned much of the macondo well that erupted and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the gulf. halliburton was contracted to design and build the well. one of the key arguments has been about whether halliburton's work on the well may have led to the blowout that killed 11 people. yesterday, halliburton pleaded guilty to destroying evidence in 2010 about test simulations it did with cement in the wake of the accident. paul barrett has been following this story for "bloomberg businessweek" and fills us in. paul, what were the test results that halliburton allegedly destroyed? >> halliburton after the disaster did computer
3:29 pm
simulations designed to see whether its cement work had been adequate and whether certain further steps that it had suggested to b.p. but which b.p. had rejected might have made a difference. what hall halliburton discovered when it did these tests was basically bad news. that its work had not been up to you have? and that these additional steps that might have been taken actually would not have made a difference. that reinforced b.p.'s version of what happened and so halliburton has now admitted that it simply destroyed the evidence. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about this cement. how crucial of a role does this cement play in this and what does halliburton have to do with it? >> well, cementing in one of these complex deep water oil operations is absolutely vital. it's central to the safe operation of the well. and you've got cement that
3:30 pm
secures the entire well apparatus and seals the well on the ocean floor and without the consistency of the cement being proper and without it being centralized and fixed in the right way you open yourself up to the danger of disaster. and it now appears in retrospect that halliburton's work was lacking and that that was at least one of the major contributors to why this particular well, the macondo well, blew, leading to the explosion of the rig up on the surface and also to the many millions of barrels that flowed from the ocean floor. >> sreenivasan: all right. so are b.p. and transocean somewhat happier today because there's more blame to go around? >> well, in the grim sorting out of liability, certainly the other parties are going to be pleased by the fact that halliburton has to admit that it
3:31 pm
was behaving in this obviously unsavory way in the wake of the accident. secondly they've got to be happy that in the continuing attempt to parcel out civil liability that this is not good news for halliburton and this can support an argument that halliburton was grossly negligent. and can support the argument that we, say b.p. or transocean, we may have made mistakes which certainly b.p. has admitted but our mistakes were not the central proximate cause for the disaster. >> sreenivasan: let's talk a little bit about this $200,000 fine. it seems like a pretty small amount for halliburton. and not by coincidence a $55 million contribution to the national fish and wildlife foundation. >> yeah, well, $200,000 to a company that has annual revenues of $29 billion is obviously pocket change.
3:32 pm
even $55 million as a so-called voluntary contribution to an organization which will help clean up and secure the gulf environmentally in the future is not a terrible blow at all. the reason this is significant is because it is admission on halliburton's part that it was trying to cover something up. and that will play out in the continuing civil trial in which the federal government is suing all three companies and a federal judge in new orleans is in the extraordinary position of on his own without a jury and without anyone else telling him what what to do to apportion the blame among the three companies. and if he determines, for example, that b.p. is merely negligent in an ordinary sense you'll get a small number of billions of dollars that b.p. will owe. if b.p. is determined to be grossly negligent, you're talking about $17 billion or more at the high end. and now b.p. has a stronger
3:33 pm
argument today than it did a few days ago that judge, point the finger of blame at our colleagues over here, halliburton. >> sreenivasan: so finally in brief, what about the civil actions? the families of those rig workers that were killed? >> most of the civil -- the individual actions in terms of the wrongful death actions for the 11 men who were killed and the dozens of other people injured, most have been resolved and those are never the big-dollar issues. b.p. has already paid out $25 billion in combination of cleanup and damage claims and faces, as we said a moment ago, perhaps $17 billion or more additional liability. those are the big dollar numbers. the economic damages and the cleanup costs. >> sreenivasan: paul barrett, bloomberg business week, thanks very much. >> my pleasure. >> brown: next to japan, where the ruined fukushima dai-ichi
3:34 pm
nuclear plant has been leaking contaminated underground water into the sea, more than two years after the earthquake and tsunami. today, officials at tokyo electric power admitted they delayed releasing that information, saying they didn't want to worry the public. meanwhile, the area around the plant remains deserted. but alex thomson of "independent television news" got brief and rare access. >> reporter: few people ever get in to the fukushima exclusion zone. nobody gets in without protective equipment and screening. "here's the radio to keep in contact" she's telling us. monitoring equipment for radioactivity comes next. then off, out, to the final police checkpoint. we pull in just inside the exclusion zone to suit up. it's becoming a way of life around here. the company that runs the stricken plant have given us five hours in the zone with a radio to keep in contact with
3:35 pm
us, let us know when our time's up. the regalia in which i'm now standing, including this, a meter which will give my accumulated radiation dose across the time that we're inside the exclusion zone. we've come here with anthony ballard, who used to live in the town which houses the giant nuclear plant, as did his friend and fellow english teacher phillip jellyman. rubble from the quake stays just where it fell. , fringed now with weeds. the clock on the main street stopped at 2:46, the second the first tremors shattered this region on march 11, 2011. the town shrine lurches after the quake, someone's been back at some point to try and save it with ropes. good luck messages to the gods for the unluckiest of towns after a quake, a tsunami, and
3:36 pm
radiation. the students who were at the school that day have never seen their houses. >> never seen it since the disaster. >> they were evacuated very early on march 12 and they've never seen their houses since. >> reporter: why is that? why can't the kids come back? what's the reason for that? >> it's to do with absorption rates of radiation. children are more vulnerable to it. >> reporter: initially, phillip and anthony were only allowed back here for an hour a month. now we have five, and in that time we'll accumulate about micro sao +*efrt of radiation fr every hour we're here. sievert. >> 1.67. >> reporter: our contamination advisor says that's a safe amount for a few hours but living here would vastly increase the likelihood of cancers. returning to the town stirs painful memories of a life brutally halted.
3:37 pm
this is the main street, basically, and just down there on the left is the butcher shop. >> reporter: they don't know what became of the butcher or his family. actually revisiting his house is not comfortable. >> okay, so this is my house here. >> reporter: but both englishmen are now on something of a mission for their japanese friends. >> i like to chronicle the town, i like to record it and some of the people from the town have said keep taking pictures. >> reporter: in here you see why the authorities offered us rat poison as well as radiation protection equipment. rats, dogs, cat and bird feces all over the place. animals moved in as people moved out. nature is taking over here. the empty railway tracks turning green. at the ticket office, a polite notice "sorry we're away, we'll be back here soon." that was two and a half years
3:38 pm
ago. arriving from this platform and, indeed, departing, absolutely no trains, of course, for well over two years now. this place, this station, like the whole town, weirdly frozen in time. right down to the newspapers on the stand on that fateful day. and outside the station, the unnerving silence of a radioactive town. what do you think? you think you'll ever come back and live here? >> this this house? no. >> reporter: in this town. >> in this town? i'm still a young man. i might be able to do it at some point. >> reporter: would you like to? >> i'd like to. i'd like to stay with the town as long as possible and if one day they were to come back here i'd like to come with them. >> you've a great attachment, haven't you, to the place and its people? which is why they visit radiation hot spots in the town
3:39 pm
to gather data. >> so the last time i was here it was a little higher than this, actually. and i walked over there and it shot up. so over there should be a hot spot if we walk up here. >> reporter: so literally a few yards make a difference then. >> a few yard. >> reporter: that's extraordinary. >> so up here we're getting 8. close to the vegetation we're getting 16 now. can you get that, stuart? so 24. got 24 over here, richard. 24. >> reporter: so the other dial is showing what? >> 24 microsieverts. it's a reading. so these meters are program to alarm at 100 microsieverts and that's a warning to get out. if you stood there for an hour, that's the dosage you would receive. >> reporter: so if you live here, what would snap. >> you wouldn't want to live
3:40 pm
here. >> reporter: but what if you did? >> there's a chance of cancers. >> reporter: it would be dangerous over time but not for a few minutes? >> not for a few minutes. >> reporter: even so, i think we better maybe move somewhere else. >> indeed. >> reporter: yards away, another alarm goes off, 69 microsieverts. the highest reading we'd encounter in our five hours here. a mile or so from town, screened off by thick forest and with armed guards, fukushima-daiichi looms, broken. over 300,000 tons of contaminated water are already here, tons more need storing everyday as they struggle to keep the reactors cool. the damage to the building is obvious. the plant owners dragged kicking and screaming to tell the truth of what's still going on here. we stand a few hundred yards up the coast from the stricken
3:41 pm
plant. and in the past few days, the company that runs it has been forced to admit that radioactivity is now leaking into the pacific. they don't know where it's coming from. not only that, inspectors in the past few days have found hot spots of radioactive cesium, the levs of which were the highest recorded since the disaster happened more than two years ago. drive fast slip road to the plant itself and the alarms go off again. so we head back through town under the archway of hope which still reads "nuclear power, our bright future." >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks, syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome gentlemen. that was a sobering report.
3:42 pm
let's turn what the president did this week. he's refocusing attention on the economy, talk about how many speak still don't have jobs. republicans immediately jumped on it, said it's not real. how do you interpret what he's trying to do? >> well, i thought the president gave a very detailed and coherent analysis, diagnosis of what the problems are in the country and in particular that income inequality and growing inequality of the country itself and made the argument, i thought quite well, that it's not only bad a +*et i cans but bad economics when the middle-class is buffeted and shrinks because a growing vibrant middle-class is necessary for a growing economy in the country. i think on the prescription side there wasn't anything as fresh and new and cosmic, perhaps, as you would have hoped but i don't know if there is. i certainly have nod heard it from the republicans but you know i have to be honest. from the middle out is an
3:43 pm
uninspiring slogan. "power to the people" "the people versus privilege." there's a lot of things. "keep the big boys honest." but "building from the middle out" sounded like a personal trainer. >> exactly. >> woodruff: but the white house says he'll keep at this message. >> yeah, they plan eight weeks of this. i agree what's nice is they're moving from the cyclical debate they've been having for the past five or six years which is stimulusse versus us a austerita structural debate. he's talking about the big issues: globalization, technological change, widening inequality and that stuff. i'm glad we're having that debate. i agree with mark, the prescriptions are -- they're not bad. they're just normal so their infrastructure spending, raising the minimum wage, improving education, that's worthy. they're commensurate with the size of the problems. we've had decades where men are just dropping out of the labor force. widening inequality. these are gigantic problems and where i wish he would go and
3:44 pm
what would be creative and taken a interesting turn is to combine the economics and the social so say you're a young woman working in a factory making $9 an hour and you want the job that will get you $14 an hour, turns out you immediate to go back to school and get technical skills. but say you're a single momle with a kid, you can't do that. so this is the way the social and the economic interact in real lives. if you're that kid, your chances of dropping out of a labor force without a dad in the home are much higher. so having a debate where we talk about the social problems, the economic problems and how they interact, that seems where the debate is among economists and the academy. would be great to see obama merge those two. >> woodruff: are there other solution it is president should be putting out there? >> i think his solutions are all -- sense. but they are -- they're not new. i mean, that's the problem and that gives speaker boehner and the others a chance to take a pot shot at it. but it is -- it's an enormous --
3:45 pm
i mean, increasing the minimum wage is good. early childhood education. they're all good. job training. those are all good ideas and i think they're all important. but i -- i don't think -- it's not let's marge. and it's tough, let's be blunt about it. it's tough for a president in this environment 24/7 all the rest of it for a presidential speech to break through. i mean, you know, it really is -- it isn't like when i was young or even when david was young when a president spoke i mean, it kind of commanded the attention of the nation. and i think it's tough to do that. >> i remember when i was young and george w. bush was speaking. >> that's right, that's right. as opposed to woodrow wilson. >> woodruff: but is it a matter of not having a solution or not getting cooperation from the other party? where -- where is the -- what's missing? >> well, i don't blame the president for this. if you go back -- there are moments of big economic transitions. so the regressive era in the
3:46 pm
19th century beginning in the 20th was a similar moment of transition and you had this concentration of power and certain trusts and corporations. it took the progressive movement to come up with intellectual solution. which came up with progressivism, a similar solution. we're at a similar moment. i would not say there's been a movement like the regressive movement which even has a solution, which has an adequate description and so it's tough to ask a president and his staff to come up with that which economists and academics have not done. and part of the problem, as i tried to indicate earlier, it's not simply an economic problem, it's a social problem. it has to do with social structures and family structures. until those answers come -l up from the world of ideas, it's hard for a president to come up with them on his own. he's too busy. >> and being very blunt, the other side would prefer to say more often than not "it's all a culture problem. it's all morality." and it isn't. there's a -- the median family
3:47 pm
income, household income in this country is 9% below what it was in 1999. and that was the highest it's ever been. and we're seeing a greater concentration in the top 1%. this is the inequality. what we've learned is that top 1% can't drive the economy and the national economy without a middle-class that is vital and vibrant and growing. >> the president did take some shots a president republicans, he said they're not cooperating. i happened to be interviewing harry reid this week who said that he's optimistic that the mainstream republicans are going to start cooperating. that they're just -- they're going to be able to work through their difficulties with the tea party. how do you see that? >> i wouldn't -- he was quite optimistic and maybe that's his job and he wants to talk himself into waking up in the morning and going to the senate. i would be moderately -- a little optimistic. i do think there has been a recoil among senate republicans away from what's happening in the house and away from a little
3:48 pm
of the direction the senate republicans were moving in and more of a house, more tea party direction. i think some of the conservative republicans who are not tea party are not inclined to be that confrontational do want to preserve what the senate is, which is a more bipartisan, a little more conversational body. and so i do think they are pulling back from some of the trajectory it was in and there's more cooperation than there was probably two years ago. the absence of people like jim demint probably helps so i think there's some cause for at least a little optimism. >> woodruff: it's different there the house but it's interesting this week, mark, you had a conservative congressman justin amash from michigan leading the charge to cut back on the n.s.a. surveillance, the sweeping spying or collection of phone data joined by a lot of democrats so that he was almost successful. >> he was. >> woodruff: with that amendment to -- >> just one p.s. on david's thing. i'm not optimistic. 70% of republicans in the senate voted against the immigration
3:49 pm
plan. and david's right that there are rumblings, but as long as they've got the house caucus where the speaker says he won't bring anything out without a majority of the caucus voting for it, that means 117 republican house members hold a veto over anything that's going to happen. so i think the optimism of david and leader reid, you know, is wonderful and admirable but i think it may be a little unrealistic. this was a phamnal moment. justin amash is considered unpopular in his own caucus, the leadership has gone after him and here he is 33-year-old outlier from michigan and he brings this up and who's he standing shoulder to shoulder with in john conyers, the act general nairn liberal democrat from detrite. octogenarian. and it not only shows the division of the house but within the two parties. which i thought was a fascinating -- i thought it was a good debate. it should have been longer.
3:50 pm
but, judy, it's -- there's a catch-22 at work here and that is president and everyone says "we need a debate about this n.s.a. thing. but we can't debate it because that would compromise our national security." it's like saying "you can have this job if you get some experience, but you can't get experience unless you can get this job." and i think this was healthy and i think it was encouraging and i think it was an interesting debate. nancy pelosi saved the white house's bacon. she saved -- >> woodruff: because the amendment almost passed 205-217. >> and i have some sympathy. i think we need to redebate what the national security state has been up to. you've got a lot of people who have no incentive to compromise in their attempt to prevent a terrorist attack and they're willing to do silly things in order to prevent. that i think there has to be some balance. what i would like to see is a debate from the authority side. what you see is this movement own both parties and in the
3:51 pm
culture at large toward libertarianism and this is bred by the internet, bred by a lot of things, distrust of authority, distrust of anything secret. and say we distrust those guys. and i think if you're fighting a war, if you're in the world you do need authority structures. you do need to trust people. but having a debate about where we should trust and not trust, i give them credit for at least starting that. >> woodruff: it says a lot about where congress is in both political parties on this. >> i'm a big fan of bob mueller, the f.b.i. retiring director. but you can see the loss of confidence in the f.b.i. in the whitey bulger case, we've seen me boston. the f.b.i. was a criminal enterprise in that case. they were -- so the skepticism and the cynicism is based in fact as well. >> i do think it exaggerates it. most federal workers are quite impressive and are doing quite good work. and the debate that -- you know, chris christie may have with rand paul where he said, you know, this libertarianism on the
3:52 pm
mark -- i want him to run against rand paul and have the debate. >> i agree but we're talking about secrecy here and secrecy is narcotic. the more information i have that you don't have, it is narcotic to the person who holds it. that's not liberal, that's not conservative, that's human nature and that's why there has to be a debate. >> that's true, but you can't find a war without secrecy and you probably can't do a lot of things in government without secrecy and the more transparency we have had the less trust in government we've had over the last 40 years. >> oh, i could not disagree with you more about the transparency and openness. i think we don't have it in the financing of our campaigns, that contributes to the paranoia and the distrust. we don't have it where the money comes from. go ahead, excuse me. >> well, one quick -- i have to quote my friend from the brookings institution that the government should have some secrecy for the same reason middle aged people should wear clothes. you don't want to see all that stuff. >> woodruff: all right. i don't know what i can say
3:53 pm
after that! but i was going to ask you very quickly about anthony weiner but we won't go there. i'm going ask you to comment on something wonderful. i want to show you a picture released from kennebunkport, maine. former president george h.w. bush who shaved his head in solidarity with a two-year-old son of one of the agents in his secret service detail. this young man has leukemia, he's been treated, he's lost his hair and we know that the president and mrs. bush lost a four-year-old daughter 50 something years ago -->> 60. >> 60 years ago. look at that. i mean, what do you -- there's nothing more to say of that are is an amazing man and an amazing picture. >> he's an exceptional man and tom rushert, a speech writer for president clinton, made the long trip on air force one and interviewed the navigator across the pacific and he asked him, of course, he said of all the presidents which one did you like the best? he said no question, george h.w.
3:54 pm
bush. he knew every one of us, knew our children's names, that's who he was and that's how special he is and those are his values. >> yeah, he is an exceptional man. but we always emphasize the negative in this business but all those other people also shaved their heads. and you go to towns and people do that. >> woodruff: thank you both, david and mark. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: a military judge began considering a verdict in the court martial of army private bradley manning. he's accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to wiki-leaks. ariel castro-- the cleveland man who held three women captive for a decade-- agreed to a plea deal that will send him to prison for the rest of his life. and police in spain arrested the man who was driving a train that derailed this week, killing at least 78 people. >> woodruff: online, when 'going under the knife' was deadly. kwame holman has more. >> holman: in hospitals not so long ago, scalpels, retractors and other tools were rarely cleaned between operations, leaving patients exposed to serious infection, gangrene and even death.
3:55 pm
one man, joseph lister, changed all that. read how on our homepage. and is the world running out of all that and more is on our website judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on monday, we'll examine what detroit's troubles portend for other american cities. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
3:56 pm
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their -- work hard to understand the industry you operate in.
4:00 pm
we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." -- this is open >> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. rival rallies have attracted massive crowds in egypt. tunisia has its own antigovernment protest when it has discovered the same gun was used to kill two opposition leader six months apart. 60 years after the korean war ended, we look back on the prisoners of war whose fate was a major sticking point.

PBS News Hour
PBS July 26, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

Network PBS
Duration 01:01:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 18
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color
disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 7/26/2013